By Joe Saunders
It’s a finding that’s being
virtually ignored by the mainstream media, but for former Attorney
General Jeff Sessions, it’s the one that really stood out.
In the almost 500 pages of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report that found the FBI’s investigation of President Donald Trump and the Trump presidential campaign was riddled with problems, it was the one solid assertion of deliberate misconduct.
An FBI lawyer had falsified documents for the special court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to obscure the fact that Trump campaign aide Carter Page had a history of working as “an operational contact” for another agency of the government.
The other agency wasn’t identified in the report, but presumably, it was the CIA. The kind of information Page provided was identified, however — it was about his contacts with a Russian intelligence officer.Even worse, the FBI had used information about Page’s contact with the Russian as evidence against him in the FISA application while “failing to disclose” that that contact had been authorized by another U.S. agency. (The Horowitz report, page ix.)
Apparently, because that might have made the FISA court judges wonder why the FBI was now investigating a man with a history of helping a U.S. intelligence agency, that bit of information was removed from a surveillance warrant application – a move Sessions called “stunning.”
Reuters, for instance, shoehorned a reference to it into the 10th paragraph of a 20 paragraph story helpfully headlined “Mistakes, but No Political Bias in FBI Probe of Trump Campaign: Watchdog.”
Other news outlets, when they mentioned it at all, generally referred to an FBI lawyer “altering” documentation to the FISA court surveillance applications without explaining exactly what was altered or the level of deception involved.
It’s also tough to see how, considering every “mistake” and omission documented in the Horowitz report ran in the direction of attempting to show Trump and the Trump campaign in the worst possible light, all of this doesn’t add up to evidence of bias.
Sensible Americans wouldn’t buy that. And Jeff Sessions — a once and possibly future Alabama senator — is even more sensible than most. He said further investigation being ordered by Attorney General William Barr and being conducted by John Durham, the federal prosecutor for Connecticut, is likely to bring out the truth.
“We have to know how this happened. There’s every right for that to occur,” Sessions told Ingraham near the end of Wednesday’s interview. “Just as the president is said to be not above the law, neither are the intelligence officers, or FBI agents, or lawyers in the Department of Justice or any other agency.